FOUR months ago, Cassie Porter struggled to bend down to tie her laces without pain due to a serious back stress fracture.
But using her mental strength, Porter, 19, mustered enough strength to lift the women’s Keperra Bowl after coming home with a wet sail over the final four holes with an eagle-birdie-birdie-par finish.
The Peregian Golf Club member, who plays off +5, returned rounds of 74-68-67 for a 209 total – two clear of defending champion Justice Bosio (71-69-71).
Then, while celebrating her victory on the balcony overlooking the 18th green, Porter was able to cheer on her very good friend Tyler Duncan (Redcliffe Golf Club) who edged out Blaike Perkins in a three-hole playoff after both players finished on 10-under par.
Perkins held a one shot lead going to the final hole, but was unable to get up-and-down from the trap and that resulted in a playoff.
And in the three playoff holes he hit his approaches to the 18th green in one of the two right-hand bunkers and on the third occasion he made bogey to hand Duncan the title.
Mind you, left-hander Duncan had to rely on his putting skills to get over the line including on the second playoff hole when he drained a lengthy downhill putt for par from off the back of the treacherous 18th green.
“Putting is my strength and I putted well in the second and third round after I had a chat with my putter after the first round,” laughed Duncan, who plays off +4.
“It was unreal to see a few putts drop when they were needed.”
He had rounds of 71-68-67 for a 206 total that included 18 birdies and eight bogeys.
Perkins (Pelican Waters) carded rounds of 69-70-67.
“It feels good to get a major amateur event under my belt,” said Duncan, who was the country’s top junior two years ago.
Both Duncan and Porter have set their sights on one day turning professional and playing on the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour respectively.
“My goal is to one day be No.1 in the world, but my ultimate aim is to play on the LPGA Tour,” Porter said. Duncan hopes to travel to the US next year and try his luck on the Korn Ferry Tour before progressing to the PGA Tour.
Both winners praised tournament officials and Keperra ground staff after a storm washed out round three.
“The course staff have done an unreal job keeping the course in good condition despite the weather,” Duncan said.
Porter added: “The course looked amazing – it was stunning.”